• Mar 24th 2008 at 10:29AM
  • 29
Ford has apparently finally heard the call and green-lighted development of a new global rear wheel drive platform and a family of vehicles to be built on it. However, unlike General Motors, Ford will not rely on its Australian division to do the heavy lifting. Since the collapse of the U.S. dollar has made the United States a low cost country, the development of the new platform has been moved back to Dearborn. The most recent attempt at a rear-drive architecture that debuted on the latest Australian Ford Falcon was something of a debacle for the company. Unlike Holden, which designed its RWD Zeta platform to be built in right- and left-hand-drive versions, the new Falcon platform is right-hand drive only. This new Ford architecture to be developed near Detroit, however, will spawn models for both the Ford and Lincoln brands, including an all-new Mustang. With Ford making a major push to reduce weight in future models, hopefully these new cars will come in a lot lighter than the GM equivalents, as well.

[Source: Detroit News]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      This really is overdue. They need something to compete with the Chrysler 300/Dodge Charger and Pontiac G8. Obviously the Crown Vic/Grand Marquis is incapable of that.
        • 7 Years Ago
        But the Marauder was.... god I miss that car
        • 7 Years Ago
        Yeah, I don't know why they don't at least put in the 300 hp 32 valve version of the V8 and a six speed transmission in the Crown Vic/Grand Marquis as a short term measure.
      • 7 Years Ago
      So Ford looked around for the best people they had in the company to build a world class RWD platform and came up with the same crowd who gave the US a warmed over decade old Focus?

      The money thing doesn't hold up to scrunity. I'm sorry but Ford Australia could build a better platform for half the budget of the US and indeed, have been doing just that for decades. Some of the preliminary work to convert Falcon was already done, when these same bright sparks in HQ canned it and then looked surprised when GM gave the US the G8.

      A case of the good ol boys winning out agains't what makes sense for the bottom line of the company.

      Don't take the best you have from Europe for small cars or the best from Australia for large cars. What would they know huh?

      This will spell the end of the Aussie Falcon, because these same brains trusts will use it to finally kill a car that made them look bad for three decades. The end result will not beat a Falcon dynamically and will be a 50/50 chance styling wise.

      Bottom line is I hope you fellas like it, because you will have to buy enough of them to make up for the rest of the world ignoring it.

      More sales for Holden and Mazda I suppose.

      • 7 Years Ago
      I think they could be a little late to the game? Maybe not. We will have to see.
      • 7 Years Ago
      It's interesting to me that the US has become a "low cost country" for developing cars. Now if we could just become a desireable place for building cars again. Maybe Detroit's off to a good start since parts of it look like downtown Berlin after World War II.
        • 7 Years Ago
        The US is a highly desirable place to build cars. BMW, M-B, Honda Toyota, Hyundai all have made huge investments in building cars in the US.

        And that was before the dollar crashed. Expect more such investments.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Dropping Mercury is a very good thing and that's exactly what Mullaly is planning to do. Ford cannot afford to support all of their in-house brands anymore. Neither can GM.
        • 7 Years Ago

        Here's the question for Ford: does selling Mercuries make more money then making and marketing them costs? If the answer is No, and is likely the stay "No" for a few years, then kill them sooner rather than later.

        Mercury offers nothing that Ford, Lincoln, Mazda and Volvo don't already offer, and fixing it would take marketing dollars that Ford doesn't have to spend on itself, let alone on Mercury. If Ford owned a large enough slice of the pie they could do it, but they don't, and between a dead Ford that tried to resurrect Mercury and died with it versus a financially sound Mercury-less Ford, I'll take the latter.
        • 7 Years Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      Yes Yes YESSSSSSSSSSS!!! As trishield said, ITS NEVER TOO LATE!!! Show us what u got ford!!! Honda, Toyota, feel our spit in your faces!!!
      • 7 Years Ago
      You know what sucks? Ford had the DEW98 platform (Lincoln LS) that was, according to most reviews, dynamically on-par with (or in some cases, superior to) the E39 5-Series. The LS was down on power, sure, but dynamically it rocked.

      And they had it in _1999_, half a decade before Sigma or LX, and more than a decade before the first Zeta is due to show up. Argh!

      And what does Ford do? Cancel it because of cost. More than Chrysler and GM, Ford is able to produce some really excellent chassis, but doesn't have the dollars to market them, power them or sustain production. A DEW98 car with soemthing other than Ford's anemic engines and better marketing than Ford's godforsaken late-90s efforts would have done wonders for this car.
        • 7 Years Ago
        The DEW platform was expensive. But they should have at least taken the Mustang's platform (an extremely and heavily modified DEW plat.) and engineered it to handle the Mustang and also a lineup of other coupes and sedans.

        What I think the Lincoln LS needed was the 300hp 4.6L. Even though it only has 20hp more than the LS's 3.9L, I think the added hp and torque could have helped a lot.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Hello all!

      Now though I'm excited by this news, I'm thinking that Ford should be concentrating on production of it's own enclosed motorcycles, small cars (Ford Reflex). And um, please keep the scissor doors! :)

      By the way, does anyone have an understanding as to why scissor doors are not popular among manufacturers? Is it a matter of the interior or the interior of the door getting wet of it rains? Or maybe the hinges were patented for Lambo at some point? That's had to have run out by now if that's the case! Anyone?
      • 7 Years Ago

      Looks like a Chryslerbus 300 with twin blade shavers attached to it.

      RWD is definitely on the downswing again because of CAFE. But I suppose sporty luxury cars will still use them, but Ford hasn't got any of those. Lincoln is a disaster.

      Mustang is the only saving grace Ford has going for it. Looks like there will be a turbo4 'Tang in the near future as well. Bye bye V6 and V8 horsies.

      How about a replacement for it? Would be nice, but probably not economically or environmentally feasible at present. You would definitely have to incorporate hybrid tech and or flex fuel options. Very costly selling features indeed.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Jamie, the crown vic/maquis are flex fuel, as have quite a few fords for the past 20 years almost. They just have not glorified to the extent GM has with big green signs and monster badges proclaiming FLEXFUEL, besides ethanol is not the future. And for all the RWD naysayers, it is just as economical as a FWD car, with better driving dynamics to boot.
        • 7 Years Ago
        True. And that is one of Billy-boy Ford's shortcomings...failure to fully capitalize on all perceived developments.

        Other fuel alternatives must be developed. In the future I see varied propulsion systems powering "the Car of Tomorrow". No one system will be prevalent. Gasoline is on the way out (not entirely though). Diesel is enjoying a small revival in Europe, but that can't last because it will drive up diesel prices enormously which is what is happening already. FlexFuel is a smart option to promote throughout the entire line-up. Hybrid tech is even better. The ultimate today is probably lithium battery or some form of hydrogen power.

        To survive in the future, Ford must be represented in all of these fields.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I have something that looks like this. It is a storage building im my back yard. Coefficient of Drag anyone? This thing is butt ugly. The Edsel of the 21st Century. Gasp! NASCAR will love it though. Lots of broad flat spaces for decals.
        • 7 Years Ago
        NASCAR no longer uses cars that in any way resemble the production versions. Just the same cookie-cutter pseudo-coupe shape for everyone.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Thank You Ford. Now don't let the bean counters ruin your engineers' great ideas!

      Mr Mullally, Now's your chance to make us proud, by the way, you chickened out on the design of the new F150. Too bland. What's under the surface of that truck deserves more in the way of looks.
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